Walking is an excellent natural exercise that can help you stay healthy and live longer; control your weight; lift your mood; enjoy time with friends and family; help you learn more about your local area and even look after the environment. The benefits are endless.
The best news is almost anyone can do it. Itís easy to fit into your daily life, and easy on the body. Even if youíre unfit, you can start slowly and build up gradually and you donít have to do it alone. The Ramblers has over 480 walking groups leading 38,000 organised walks every year so thereís bound to be a group near you leading a variety of walks. Our programme of walks caters for all abilities Ė and many walks are designed specifically for beginners.
For many of our members, walking has not only meant getting outdoors, getting healthy and keeping active Ė but joining a walking group has allowed them to become part of a community thatís led to friendship and companionship.
The health benefits alone are enough to inspire the need to lift your feet: walking helps to combat osteoarthritis, strengthens joints and muscles, it can dramatically cut diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as reducing levels of breast and colon cancer. We want to ensure that as many people as possible get to enjoy these benefits.
But itís not only the health benefits, friendship and outdoor exploration that bind our members. Itís a passion for the countryside, and how important access to our countryside is in order for us to enjoy it. Much of Britain was once closed to walkers but over 75 years of campaigning by the Ramblers has done much to open up the countryside for everyone to enjoy. We helped build and protect Britainís 130,000 mile long path network and today continuously campaign for better walking routes and more walking opportunities whether in the countryside, cities, hills, coasts and on or off the beaten track.
Our vast network of over 17,000 volunteers are actively involved in running local campaigns and carrying out restoration and maintenance work to the countryís footpath network and the Ramblers are constantly thinking up campaigns and projects to support this.
Weíre fighting for walkers, and there are some tricky paths ahead, so we need as much support as we can get to ensure we have the freedom to walk without obstruction; that access to our woodlands, coast, waterways and green spaces are protected. We want to inspire people to walk for transport, for health, and for fun. So, join us and take the first step toward creating a walking Britain, and help us continue our work as guardians of the countryside.
To find out more about the wide range of membership benefits, or to become a member visit: www.ramblers.org.uk/membership/joining
Credit Tony Carney Credit Catherine Leckenby